Hoyt Sherman Place to Resurrect Jazz in July Free Summer Concert Series

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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

For 40 years, the Jazz in July program served the Greater Des Moines community with various free jazz concerts until it ended abruptly following its 2017 season. After the Metro Arts Alliance folded, the event struggled to find someone to run it. Now, Hoyt Sherman Place with the help of its co-sponsors Principal Foundation and Faegre Baker Daniels plans to revive the series with three live performances both on its lawn and inside its historic theater for at least the next two years, initially.


“The Jazz in July series is a great fit for our mission …to serve all residents of Central Iowa… and our more recent goal of re-engaging the front lawn.  The artists signed up for the first year promises to bring the program back bigger and better than ever and during year two we will be able to show off and utilize the new East Lobby Restroom Annex,” says Hoyt Sherman Place Executive Director, Robert Warren.


Concerts are scheduled for Thursday, July 11th, Friday, July 19th and Thursday, July 25th at 6 PM, with headliners hitting the stage at 7:30 PM. Headlining artists include Minneapolis native Debbie Duncan (July 19) and the Damani Phillips Collective (July 25) with the third to be announced in the upcoming weeks. Debbie Duncan’s performance will also serve as a segway for kicking off the Des Moines Jazz Festival the following day, Saturday, July 20th also located for the first time at Hoyt Sherman Place.


Local artists will provide free entertainment on the lawn earlier in the day. Des Moines jazz scene mainstay Sam Salomone will perform with his quartet on July 11. Sam has been inducted in the Iowa Jazz and Blues Hall of Fame and has made the Hammond Organ his trademark. On July 19, versatile guitarist and University of Iowa instructor Steve Grismore and his quartet will perform. He’ll be joined by a group featuring Omaha organist Mitch Towne, saxophonist Dave Bohl and drummer Tim Crumley. Lastly, Chris Oatts will hit the stage July 25. He is a Johnston High School graduate who now lives in Philadelphia, PA and is the descendant of notable Iowa jazz musicians. He has performed extensively around the United States and across Europe.


This free summer program wouldn’t be possible without the help of its sponsors the Principal Foundation and Faegre Baker Daniels as well as Jazz in July Arts Advisor John Krantz.


The full Jazz in July schedule is as follows:

Thursday, July 11

6:00 – 7:00pm                   Sam Salomone Quartet outside on The John & Penny Krantz Stage

7:30 – 9:00pm                   Vocalist Charmin Michelle inside on The Theater Stage

Friday, July 19

6:00 – 7:00pm                    Steve Grismore Quartet outside on The John & Penny Krantz Stage

7:30 – 9:00pm                 Vocalist Debbie Duncan inside on The Theater Stage

Thursday, July 25

6:00 – 7:00pm                    Chris Oatts Quartet outside on The John & Penny Krantz Stage

7:30 – 9:00pm                   Damani Phillips presents Jazz and Strings inside on The Theater Stage


Patrons are encouraged to bring a blanket and lawn chairs and will be able to purchase local food truck fare and beverages provided by the venue on site, rain or shine. For additional information about Jazz in July and the benefits of becoming a Hoyt Sherman Place Member, including presale opportunities, please visit www.hoytsherman.org

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